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Northern region election early warning group cautions youth groups & media houses



Members of the Northern Region Election Early Warning Response Group (REEWARG), have cautioned as well as counseled various youth groups in the region not to allow them selves to be used as conduits for self-seeking politicians to foment trouble during elections on December 7.

REEWARG which consists of the National Peace Council (NPC), West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) and Regional National Media Commission advisory committee says it is worried that with the unresolved chieftaincy issues in the region, the youth may be used to create electoral violence come December 7.

In a statement issued after a day’s deliberation on critical issues regarding this year’s elections, REEWARG reminded the youth about their future and the need for them to desist from allowing themselves to be used for people’s selfish interests.

Reverend Dr Solomon Sule-Saa who read REEWARG’s concerns to the media on behalf of its northern regional chairman who is also the Arch-Bishop of Tamale, Most Reverend Philip Naame, explained that youth groups were found to be most likely to engage in violence before, during and after the presidential and parliamentary elections.

The group, Dr Sule-Saa said, was formed by the Peace Council (NPC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), WANNEP and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the WANNEP’s monitoring.

REEWARG, he said, was concern about unresolved but simmering chieftaincy and land disputes in other regions of the country, the vulnerability of these youth can be exploited for violence during the elections.

The group observed that there seem to be ready incentives to entice these vulnerable youth to violence, and unfortunately they appear unaware of the short term nature of such benefits.

History, Dr Sule-Saa said, has shown that, identity based conflicts such as religion and ethnicity have become the easiest tool used by politicians the world over to whip up group sentiments towards electoral violence which should be guarded against.

The youth, he reminded, should be mindful that much as their role and interest in politics and governance is, they should ensure that politicians create a peaceful environment in order for them to play those roles.

The youth should rather ask the politicians critical questions on their manifestos and plans and question the attitudes of those with tendencies of violence- those who want to win by all means.

The executive secretary of Northern Regional Peace Council, the Reverend Father Thadeus Kuusah,pleaded with the media practitioners to adhere to the ethics of the journalism profession.

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